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Scarpa North America Blog

Tag Archives: Gord McArthur

SCARPA First Friday Film Fest: November

Nov. 7th 2014

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the SCARPA First Friday Film Fest. Here we collect all the inspiring web flicks featuring our athletes pushing themselves in their respective sports. Check back on the first Friday of every month for more of the best skiing, climbing, and mountaineering action from Team SCARPA.

Expand these flicks to full screen and enjoy. It’s Friday, you deserve a break.

In typical Red Bull fashion, the Red Bull White Cliffs comp takes the world’s best mixed climbers and sticks them on the face of a 400 foot chalk wall rising out of the sea. Watch Gord McArthur take on this impressive competition while wearing the new Rebel Ice.

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Understanding Instinct: Introducing the new Instinct VS

Apr. 16th 2013

Winter has given way to Spring, and those with Instinct are shelving their AT boots for rock climbing shoes, and headed for the warmer climates to return to the sharp end. From sport crags to boulder fields, SCARPA’s Instinct VS is the tool for versatile precision and performance in a sophisticated package. “The Instinct models are my favorite and most used in the entire line,” says SCARPA athlete Sam Elias. “And though it’s called the Instinct VS, and is supposed to be an ‘Instinct,’ it’s truly a different shoe.”

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Rocket to Russia: Gord McArthur gears up for another year on the World Cup Circuit

Apr. 9th 2013

Gord McArthur is digging a hole in his backyard; two, actually. It’s what needs to happen when building the proper training structure if he is going to compete with the Russians on their level. The SCARPA mixed climber had a great past season competing on the World Cup circuit, placing higher than any North American in over a decade. In doing so, he has seen his future. And his future is a 26-foot high arch that will take up most of his backyard. “That’s what it takes,” he says, of going against the hammer and sickle hardmen of northern Asia. We got him to put down the shovel for a moment and give us his take on training at the highest levels, and preparing for a little known comp called the Olympics.

Can you tell us why the Russians are so formidable on the World Cup? The Russians dominate the sport of competitive mixed climbing because they train so well. And by that I mean, they have World Cup structures to train on, year round, and they have a team, amongst themselves, to train with. Having a solid training team/partner(s) is the key to success. You can’t push yourself to your ultimate level unless you have someone there, pushing you, motivating you, correcting you, or suggesting various things to you. They’re smart, really smart, and they know how to train to win.

How did you do this last year on the circuit? What’s it like climbing competitively in Europe and Asia? This year I did really well on the circuit. At the world championships in Kirov, Russia, I had my best result to date. No North American in the last 12 years has made it into the Top 20. Because the sport is so dominated by Russians, it’s tough to gain a spot past the qualifying round. But in Russia I managed to climb super well and landed 15th overall, which was huge.

Competing overseas is tough. North Americans are at a huge disadvantage because of the amount of travel it takes, money, adjusting to new cultures, food, people, languages—it’s not an easy road. But, all that being said, it’s un-freakin’-believable. The opportunity to see the world whilst doing what you love? Why wouldn’t you do it?

You’re building your own training facility in your backyard. Can you describe it to us, and why is it important to making the podium in the World Cup next year? If you want to do well on the World Cup, you need to be super specific in how you train. A lot of the Europeans and Asian representatives have World Cup “structures” to train on, which gives them a huge edge. So, I figured why not build my own? And now, the first North American World Cup structure is going to be in my backyard. It’s the only way forward.

Next season is going to be a huge season, packed with events and, oh, did I mention the Olympics? Yeah, so mixed climbing is going to be a demonstration sport next year. It’s important for me to be at the top of my game going into the coming season—to do well, really well.

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SCARPA’s packing up for the Bozeman Ice Climbing festival

Nov. 16th 2012

Photo by Ari Novak

Ice climbing season is upon us and the time to celebrate is December 5-9 at the Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival, where a crew from SCARPA will be headed in a couple weeks. In its 16th year (started in 1996), the Bozeman Ice Fest will take place in the famous ice and mixed climbing mecca Hyalite Canyon, outside of Bozeman, Montana.

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Gord McArthur – Training, Climbing and Competing

Jan. 19th 2012

SCARPA Athlete, Gord McArthur is back at it, training and climbing and competing in the first World Cup of Mixed Climbing in South Korea. Below, he shares about his experience training this fall in Canada.

The crew at the airport

Since the end of the summer I’ve been doing my best to train as hard as possible–long nights in the backyard, climbing all over North America, working on weaknesses, doing everything I can to come to a place of confidence, believing in my ability to climb and compete. Well, it’s here now; months of preparation and commitment have finally come to this point…the first world cup of mixed climbing…in South Korea.

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Sneak Peek: Ouray Ice Festival, January 5-8

Dec. 20th 2011

The world’s first ice climbing park is celebrating its 15th anniversary this coming January. Ouray, Colorado was once a booming mining town, but now ice is the gold standard. With over 200 ice and mixed climbs, the Ouray Ice Park is one of the largest ice climbing meccas in North America. And this coming January 5-8th, climbers of all abilities will make their pilgrimage to southwestern Colorado in search of ice, camaraderie and glory.

Photo by Jack Brauer: MountainPhotographer.com

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The Bozeman Ice Festival: A recap by Gord McArthur

Dec. 15th 2011

Gord McArthur, SCARPA athlete and ice climber extraordinaire, just returned from spending a week in Montana, climbing in Hyalite Canyon and teaching clinics at the Bozeman Ice Festival. He has an infectious love for ice climbing and a passion for teaching. McArthur recounts a few moments from the week and talks about why he’ll be going back for many years to come.

Gordon McArthur on NW Passage, M10 Hyalite Canyon MontanaThe Bozeman Ice Festival is different from any other event I’ve ever been to. So much that it’s hard to put into words the impact it had on me. Soulful, majestic, full-hearted, committed, meaningful, driven, historical and futuristic…and sure, these words are all great and will do for now, but even still…they don’t do justice to what I experienced over the past week.

Arriving in Bozeman a week before the festival, we (myself and a few other friends – Jason Nelson, Kendra and Carter Stritch) were super energized to “get after it” in Hyalite Canyon. Hyalite Canyon is host to a sea of ice climbs from beginner to totally scary hard, so there was to be no limit to how many climbs we could fit in prior to the anticipated ice festival. Before coming I had heard about a cave up in Hyalite that hosted a hard mixed climb, Inglorious Bastards, M12, so…in hearing that, it became a priority of mine to jump on that rig and try to climb it.

Walking into Hyalite Canyon simply takes your breath away. Despite the cliché, I’m serious. Hyalite is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever climbed. Period. And standing inside the cave high up on the Unnamed Wall, there were certainly moments when I forgot all about climbing and found myself drifting off into the scenic wonderland.

Day 1 was a workday. Jason Nelson and I spent a bit of time getting used to the style of rock and sorting through the moves on Inglorious Bastards. When looking at the route from outside the cave, it didn’t seem that big or long. However when hanging horizontally close up and personal to the roof of that cave…it’s a haul and a half. I want to give thanks to Conrad Anker and Pete Tapley for putting up that route, and also a “nice work” to Sam Elias for nabbing the first ascent. On day 2, my third try I was able to repeat Inglorious Bastards, M12. (Thanks to Jason for bein’ there on the other end of my rope). I was psyched about this. Side note: It was cool and inspiring that this particular style of route was natural (nothing was drilled to enhance the route). Some may think that routes at this level don’t exist any more without “manufacturing” them.

Gordon McArthur on NW Passage, M10 Hyalite Canyon MontanaMid week, after a few days of climbing we found ourselves, amongst many others, in the Emmerson Hall (in Bozeman), mingling, giving high fives, and simply sharing the excitement about the Bozeman Ice Festival starting. Vendors and sponsors were busy handing out demo gear to all the enthusiasts, people from all over the country buzzing about clinics that they had signed up for. The hype and animation from all who were involved and participating…just standing back…for even a moment, witnessing what was going on all around me…you could just tell there was something different…something deep and inspiring.

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Gord McArthur’s open invitation to go mixed climbing with him in Bull River Canyon

Oct. 21st 2011

SCARPA athlete, Gord McArthur, has discovered a plethora of potential new routes in Bull River Canyon outside of his hometown of Cranbrook, B.C., and the temperatures are starting to drop. Gord is looking for other interested parties to help explore and develop some mixed climbing routes in the canyon.

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Train like you compete, compete like you train

Oct. 4th 2011

By – Gord McArthur

“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” – Michael Jordan

For the past couple of months I’ve been focusing my climbing a lot on “onsighting” – the art of showing up to a route you’ve never seen before and trying to do it first go.  A while ago my coach told me straight up that it was my onsighting ability that’s been holding me back from certain goals (mainly competing).  With only a few months to go before mixed season (and the start of all the comps lined up), he basically said to get after it and onsight as much as possible with the time I had left (on rock that is).

It’s been a tough summer, with crappy weather and too many bugs.  I’ve been able to rock climb a bunch…don’t get me wrong…but not as much as I would have liked.  Because of the various “road blocks” I’ve been somewhat restricted to backyard training.  Not such a bad thing considering what I have back there (bouldering gym and a crazy mixed climbing set up).  But because of the lack there of, it’s been mentally taxing when the “bit that I’ve been chomping on” has near worn out.

My local crag is rad…but I’ve either climbed “it” or been on “it”.  Thus onsighting is a bit hard to do there.  Next plan: convince my wife that I need to go climb elsewhere.  And so “operation: onsighting” began.

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Climb On: Gord McArthur puts muscle where his mouth is

Aug. 9th 2011

Professional climbers are a silly lot. Often it’s about being first, being fastest, the best, and so on. It’s very focused on me. And sometimes, well, it’s not about you. For SCARPA-sponsored, competitive mixed climber Gord McArthur sometimes it’s about showcasing your talents for the betterment of someone else. He just finished climbing a 35-foot practice wall for 24 hours straight, doing 634 laps, and climbing more than 20,000 vertical feet. In doing so, he raised nearly $18,000 in funds for Charlotte Amsling, a four-year-old friend of the family who has been battling cancer. “I was expecting to only raise about $7000,” he admits, “but we went way beyond that.” This was the second time McArthur joined forces with the Ronald McDonald House to help people in his town of Cranbrook, British Columbia. “I was inspired by a couple families who I know very well who utilize that service,” he says.

The climber and graphic designer got the idea from watching his friend and coach Will Gadd climb ice for 24 hours straight to raise money for common cause. A few years later he teamed with two friends to tag team the twenty-four hour time frame, but this time he wanted to do it solo. “I have daughters her age,” says McArthur, who believes that was a major driving force for his second go at climbing for a cause. The town also pitched in. “All the materials were donated for this event,” says McArthur, who constructed the wall with scaffolding, plywood, and climbing holds, most of which were sizeable
jugs. “That was a big inspiration for me,” he says, “to see how giving people were. If they couldn’t give financially, people donated their time and efforts.”

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